The Golden State Warriors got a bit of good news on the injury front Tuesday when Kevin Durant told ESPN that he plans to return from a six-game absence with a rib injury for Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Golden State forward Kevin Durant (ribs) to ESPN: “You can tell them I’m playing Thursday” when Milwaukee comes to town. Tonight, Durant is missing his sixth straight game.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 28, 2018
Head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN that Durant wanted to play on Tuesday.
“We’re just trying to be smart,” Kerr said. “When KD feels like he’s ready to go, we’re going to give him two extra days until the next game just to be really safe. I mean, the last thing we want is for anybody to reinjure something or have something linger, so we’re going to be extra cautious with everybody.”
Lately, the injury news has generally gone from bad to worse in Golden State.
Stephen Curry is slated to miss the first round of the playoffs after suffering an MCL sprain in his first game back after missing time with an ankle sprain. Draymond Green missed his third straight game Tuesday after suffering a pelvic contusion and dealing with flu-like symptoms. And Klay Thompson hasn’t played since breaking his right thumb on March 11.
Golden State is all but locked into the No. 2 seed for the Western Conference playoffs and can afford the personnel losses for the home stretch of the regular season. Green and Thompson are expected to join Durant on the court soon.
Whomever the Warriors face in the first round shouldn’t provide a legitimate threat — in theory — to a Golden State team sans Curry.
Assuming everybody returns on their injury timelines and no further setbacks, the Warriors could be at full strength in time for a second-round playoff matchup.
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